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Therese Sep 14th, 2007 07:24 PM

What to wear/pack...Part 5
Yes, you can do it all in a carry-on.

Last week I traveled for work (and a little bit of holiday) to Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Rotterdam. Challenges this trip included unpredictable weather (everything from hot and humid to cold, windy, and rainy) and no access to washer/dryer or time to visit laundromat, several hotel changes, four train trips, and extensive walking as both touring and work.

It all fit in a single carry-on (purse carried separately, though if need be I could have transferred it all to my carry-on).

What I wore on the plane:

Black sleeveless knit dress
Black flat knee-high boots
Black tights
Slip, panties, bra
Black moleskin blazer
Red paisly silk and wool scarf

What I packed:

Black knit 3/4 sleeve wrap dress
Black and white patterned knit dress
Black jeans
Black dress trousers (two pairs)
Gray pleated dress skirt
Black cotton blouse
Purple knit shirt
Olive green knit shirt
Purple floral cotton blouse
Purple cotton gauze top
White cotton blouse

High-heeled knee-high black boots
Black tights (several)
Panties & trouser socks & extra bra
Toiletries (including every last weird thing that I routinely use)
Hard-cover book (an indulgence)
Flat iron (for hair)
Work documents (about the size of another hard cover book)

Oh, and my pillow.

Very comfortable all week, didn't wear anything twice except for the jeans and blazer and scarf, didn't wear everything I brought (because of course I went shopping while I was there).

suze Sep 15th, 2007 10:28 AM

nice list! No shoes? just the two pair of boots?

Therese Sep 15th, 2007 01:01 PM

Yep, just the boots. Both knee-high, so I could wear them with skirts and dresses as well as pants, with one pair high heel (but still fine for walking to work, meetings, dancing) and one pair low heel/flat (I find really, really flat shoes uncomfortable for my back).

I like boots a lot, as they are dressy, but offer very good ankle support, as well as the opportunity to use an orthotic. Even expensive "comfort" shoes like Merrills don't have enough of an arch support for me. I generally use WalkFit orthotics, an over the counter brand that is very sturdy.

When I do take shoes they are generally dressy mules of some sort, okay for short walks and standing at meetings (a lot of my meetings take place entirely standing) since they're high enough for my back.

I came very close to buying another pair of boots while I was in Rotterdam, but in the end decided against them (the stores were full of them, by the way, so a very good look if you're visiting this fall). I did buy a lot of clothing and toiletries: two dresses (one of which I wore home on the plane), something like fifteen blouses/shirts (some doubles for my 14-year-old daughter, as she raids my closet), a total of about two liters of toiletries, random other things.

So obviously I did check a bag for the return trip from Amsterdam to Atlanta, carrying some extra items in a shopping bag. Not too much in the shopping bag actually, as I'd made extra room in my original bag by discarding the empties of many of my toiletry bottles as well as some of the work documents that I no longer needed.

Linda431 Sep 15th, 2007 02:09 PM

How long were you gone? It sounds like a great wardrobe for travel.

emily00 Sep 15th, 2007 03:27 PM

Dress well, comfortable and warm. Would avoid tennis/trainer shoes and jeans. Suprised on how cold europe can be in September. Always carry a study unbrella

Therese Sep 16th, 2007 07:41 AM

I was gone for about a week, leaving on a Friday night and returning on Sunday. So, eight different days, but in fact I ended up changing clothes on several of those days (touring in the morning, working in the afternoon, dinner out in the evening).

And the other thing to remember about European weather in the fall is that it call also be warmer than you'd expected: Rotterdam in particular was relatively humid and warm most of my visit, so I used my silk/wool scarf and blazer less than I'd anticipated.

And somewhere on my last day I lost my umbrella, to my great chagrin, as I'd managed to hold onto it for five years. It was an apple green mini version that I'd purchased at Benetton in Venice years ago on a visit with my children, and it was much sturdier than it looked (and fit into my purse). Oh well.

Linda431 Sep 16th, 2007 09:39 AM

I used to always pack an umbrella for each of us. On our last trip we wanted to use carry-on only so I was desperate to eliminate as much as I could so I left them out. (2 umbrellas = space for one more pair of shoes;-))

The first time we saw a dark cloud, we popped into a marche and bought a couple for around 10 euros each. We left them in the hotel when we left

lyndash Sep 16th, 2007 09:54 AM

Therese, Just curious...what size is your carry on? 22"? It sounds like it holds alot! Is it one space or with dividers?
thanks, lynda

Therese Sep 16th, 2007 11:06 AM

My suitcase is closer to a 21", though I've never measured it, just know it will fit easily in overhead bins on any but the smallest equipment.

It also fits easily into the overhead racks on trains, so no worries about trying to stake out the often limited space at the ends of train cars for larger bags, or with keeping an eye on my bag during stops, when bags sometimes go missing.

No dividers internally---dividers take up space and also add to the weight of the bag. I've weighed this particular bag before---I'll look back at previous threads (this is the 5th packing thread I've posted, as the title implies) to see what it was.

suze Sep 16th, 2007 12:01 PM

I agree. I hate suitcases with a bunch of compartments, dividers, garment bags built-it. They take up space and confusing my organized packing efforts. I like a single empty compartment to work with.

(Thanks for answering about the boots, Therese).

tuscanlifeedit Sep 16th, 2007 12:28 PM

I like a single empty compartment on the inside, too, but I do like a net/mesh zippered area along the top or lid inside, and some pockets on the outside of a piece of luggage.

Therese Sep 16th, 2007 03:11 PM

I agree, the outside pockets are very convenient. I stow the things that I'll possibly want during the trip, both in-flight and en route to my first location: noise cancelling headphones, socks (for the plane; my feet tend to get cold, shawl if I'm not already wearing it, book, umbrella. I stow my 1 quart/liter plastic ziploc bag with toiletries in one of them as well, in case I need to get it out for security, and also because I've got things like eye drops that I might use during the flight.

These pockets generally have a lot of extra space them that I can take advantage of on the return trip if I've been shopping.

MomDDTravel May 24th, 2008 11:11 PM


Therese May 25th, 2008 09:57 AM

Since you've bookmarked this thread, as well as some of the other "What to wear/pack..." threads I've posted over the years, MomDDTravel, I'll take this opportunity to mention that I have recently measured my suitcase (the one that used for this trip and all the others that are part of this series) and it turns out to be only 19" tall (and 14" wide and 9" deep). I measured it because Delta's recently gotten a bit picky about enforcing carry-on requirements, and I wanted to make absolutely sure that I didn't go outside of them.

So, no worries.

rosetravels May 25th, 2008 10:26 AM

Hi Therese -
I hope all is well. I find these what to wear threads irresistable and love your list.

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